The Corps’ next rifle optic will be more powerful and allow Marines to acquire targets at further distances.
It is known as the squad common optic, or SCO, and the Corps may order between 18,000 and 30,000 of them, according to a recent request for information posted on the government’s business opportunities website.
The Corps’ information request laid out some of the details the Corps is seeking in its new optic, which include up to eight times magnification and the ability to engage targets between 600–900 meters.
That’s slightly more powerful than the four times magnification and 800 meter range of the Corps’ currently fielded Trijicon manufactured rifle combat optic, or RCO.
The Corps also wants its new optic to weigh less than 2.1 pounds and come with an eye relief of 3.1 inches to 3.7 inches. Eye relief is the distance a shooter needs to keep their eye from the lens of the optic to maintain a proper field of view.
The Marines also are requesting backup iron sights with the squad common optic. Should an optic become impaired, run out of battery power or be damaged, backup iron sights will allow a Marine to stay in the fight and engage targets with precision.
“Front and rear iron sights shall be immediately usable upon removal of the squad common optic,” the posting reads.
In its latest budget request, the Corps is sinking nearly $19 million into its new higher powered replacement for the Trijicon-manufactured rifle combat optic.
Procurement of the squad common optic is expected to begin fourth quarter of 2020, and fielding will commence by second quarter of 2021, Maj. Ken Kunze, a spokesman for Marine Corps Systems Command, told Marine Corps Times in an emailed statement.
Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.